Digital Dish:'106 & Park' Host Keshia Chante on Bow Wow, Favorite Guests and the Harsh Realities of Google [Photos]

For 14 years, BET’s 106 & Park has not only redefined television for millenials, but made stars out of its hosts. Filling the shoes of 106 legends like AJ Calloway, Free, Rocsi Diaz and Terrence J. may seem a daunting task, but current host Keshia Chante makes it look easy. Alongside “King of 106” Bow Wow, the Toronto native is quickly carving her own piece of BET history.

Already a bonafide star in her native Canada, Keshia’s infectious energy wins over viewers every night and now we know why. Vixen was recently invited to the 106&Park HQ’s for some girl time with the singer and host. During our mani sesh, Keshia was an open book as she told us all the juicy deets about 106 and her life off-camera.

Photo Credits: Sharifa Daniels  

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

 VIBE Vixen: How has 106 & Park been?

Keshia: I’ve been watching the show since AJ and Free and I wasn’t expecting to be a host on the show. But it’s been a lot of fun. With Bow, he’s such a personality, so it’s cool to be around someone like that. He’s just so big and loud and aggressive.

 

What’s your relationship like off camera (with Bow Wow)?

He’s like my little/big brother; however, you want to look at it. He picks on me, I pick on him. I don’t turn up with him. I’ve decided not to because he’ll roll into work and be like, “Man, last night was crazy. I’m so tired, Kesh.” And I’m like no, I can’t live like you. He’s a fun person.

 

How long did you know each other before hosting?

We were both on Sony US  years ago and I was 18 probably and when we did the “Shorty Like Mine” Chris Brown music video. My marketing manager at the label called me and was like “Do you want to be the lead girl? Bow Wow’s going to send you a text and cordially ask you to be in the video.” So, he invited me, but he did it in a very “you wanna come chill with me,” like trying to like pull a move and I wasn’t really receptive. So, we got to LA and he was like “she’s the worst” because he was trying to be cute and I wasn’t about it. So I ended up being Chris Brown’s lead girl. And he called Angela [Simmons] to save the day. Now we just tease each other, so it’s cool.  It ended up working out.

 

Why do you think 106&Park continues to resonate with viewers?

No other network even plays music videos anymore. I think it’s just a fun time for kids when they come home; or even college students and adults to come home and have something to watch. And we play things that are cutting edge and not even poppin’ on the radio yet.

 

Did any of the former hosts reach out to you when you got the job?

You know what, Terrence was the first person to ever see me come on the show. When I first got here, he really wanted me to do well and went as far as getting my phone number and being like, “okay this is what you need to do: Make sure you study your lines as much as possible. During commercial break, don’t use that as time to be socializing with the audience; make sure that’s your moment to practice with the teleprompter.” He was really aggressive in teaching me how to be as good as I could be and land the role.

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

 

What do you think makes you a successful host?

I’m not scared to make fun of myself. I’m not trying to impress a dude. I want to make people laugh-it’s supposed to be a fun show. I felt like the other hosts were fun, but I think I go a little bit further. I’m not afraid to look a hot mess or to be outrageous. A couple of weeks ago, I watched some episodes of Bow before I came on and now, he’s open to being funny.

 

Is it more work than you expected?

I didn’t expect it to be that way. I thought it was just going to be me reading a teleprompter. We have meetings every week. I give my input and ideas for the show. One of Bow’s ideas was ‘106 Backroom.’ Even in the writing, a writer will come to the room and show me the script. Everybody wants it to be the best show it can be.

 

Who’s been your favorite guest on the show so far?

It has to be Michelle Obama; that was like still not real to me. It was just so shocking. She had secret service come in. They went through the whole building; top to bottom, every dressing room, every drawer, every nook and cranny. Even when we were filming the show, on the scaffolding we looked up and there were sniper shooters. She’s so cool.

 

Who has made you the most nervous?

 It was Mariah Carey. She didn’t come to 106 & Park; we went to her studio. She invited us to go. She has her own lighting. I walked in and she was like “this is what happens when you’re around a diva queen, honey.” She had her own champagne and was like “You want a glass of champagne, honey?” I looked up to her my whole life. I was so excited. Just the whole interview, she was really playful.

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Terrence J and Rocsi have both tried acting; what are your plans for that?

I’ve done acting before in Canada. That was a lot of fun. Right now,  priority is 106 & Park and music. I really just want to master being a television host right now. It’s a lot harder than it looks. Between the teleprompter and the earpieces and the DJs that are loud and the kids that are screaming and it’s live television, the content is changing throughout the show constantly. I just want to get to a point where I just make it look easy and once I get to that point, then I’ll expand into acting and stuff.

 

What celebrities would you like to see on the show?

They’ve been on the show, but not with me as the new host. I’m excited for  Beyoncé and Rihanna. They are just fun girls. I’d like to see them. I can’t wait for Kanye to come on the show. I’m actually scared. I am kind of terrified. I think the trick with him is that the audience can’t scream. I kind of like when he rants.

 

How would you describe your style on the show?

I bounce around. I really like to be comfortable. In my dream world, I wear a beanie, baggy jeans, and crop top. I also like to be the trendy girl with the skinny jeans and the baggy sweater. Every week, the style team knows I want one baggy/comfortable outfit, one with really cute shoes and one that’s a dress.

 

What’s your style like off camera?

Glam with a little street. J-Lo’s my favorite fashion icon, especially when she’s in her “Jenny From The Block” moment and mixes urban with high fashion.

 

Is there a fashion or beauty trend that you are sick of?

You know what I hate?  Uggs, but I just bought two of them from Nordstrom… I hate these things, but I’m wearing them.

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

 

Any celebrity crushes?

My boyfriend was my celeb crush…locked that in (laughs). You know who I was obsessed with when I was younger? Michael Ealy. Also, I like Chris Brown when he’s blonde. One thing I don’t like-especially on 106-all the guys that come on the show; it’s the same, “hey baby.” Keshia don’t play that. I like guys that aren’t feeling themselves at all and are respectful and normal. You can be a rockstar, but I don’t want to feel like you’re a rockstar.

 

How long have you lived in New York?

I moved for the job from Toronto. I was in the city for about a month and then I got a place in the suburbs. I just wanted to have a separation from the crazy city. One of the adjustments is just the amount of action. It’d be 3am and I’d hear music and it’s hard to sleep because you want to see what’s going on. Traffic is crazy, but I love that you can get anything you want.

 

Do you have any favorite spots?

Serafina; I order it everyday for lunch. Dylan’s Candy Bar is the devil. I’ve been to Greenhouse and I’ve done the 1Oak thing. That was really fun, but I’m not too clubby.

 

When are we going to hear more music from you?

I’m working on it now. I’m very excited about it. It’s very R&B and authentic. You’ll get to know who I am for the first time in my career. It’s edgy and honest. It’s a lot more like Miguel, Frank Ocean or The Weeknd. In Canada, you have to do pop music because there’s no place for R&B to really live on the radio. So, you have to find a healthy medium like a Usher “OMG” or Chris Brown pop record.

 

Will there be collaborations?

Right now it’s literally been me just experimenting with sounds and being creative. I don’t think it’s at the point yet where I’m ready to collaborate with anyone, but I definitely intend to.

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

How do you find time to do everything?

 The weekends; that’s the best time. How do I find time? I’m obsessed with schedules. So, I will put “fun time” in my schedule or I’ll look and see that I have Friday afternoon and Saturday night and I’ll text the girls and  we’ll do something.

 

And you have your relationship, too.

And he’s on the road for his sports, so that’s pretty cool because I know his schedule for the whole year. So, when I know he’s away, I’m like “turn up!” and when he’s home I’m domesticated, cooking full on gourmet meals. Even before coming to the show, I have a trainer that comes to the house. There’s so many things going on, but you balance it if you’re good with schedules.

 

Have you ever Google’d yourself?

Actually this is a funny story. I was on the radio for the first time when I was like 14-years-old. And I was like “Mom, does that mean I’m going to be on Google?” and she was like “yes, honey you’ll probably be able to see.” So I Google’d myself and it was like a message board and a photo of me and they were like ripping me to shreds. I balled my eyes out. I grew up in a high school where nobody looked like me.  I didn’t understand why I had braids and why I had poufy hair.

All the girls had blond hair and blue eyes and all the guys that I thought were cute didn’t even look at me. I had such a disposition about it, so after reading that…the internet was banned. I have a team of people that check my Twitter and Instagram  and if they see anything super negative, they’ll like delete it or block the person, so by the time I get to it I never actually see it. I decide to isolate myself from that world. It’s not because I don’t have thick skin; I do it because it’s just negative energy that just manifests itself.

 

Did you have an awkward phase?

I totally had an awkward phase. Well, I was like awkward from like 7 to 16; maybe 18. Actually, I was awkward at 20 (laughs). My dad is from Trinidad and my mom is Portuguese and Puerto rican and I went to school and again; noone looked like me. My grandparents lived in Georgia right outside of Atlanta and in the summer my mom would like ship me off to my grandparents and there were so many people that looked like me. I started to get the culture and feel like I belonged to something. I started to be proud of myself. It changed the way I went back home. I was more confident.

 

Flip the page for more photos of our "Digital Dish!"

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

 

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

 

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

VIBE-Vixen-Keisha Chante Digital Dish

VIBE-Vixen-Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

 

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

 

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

 

Keisha Chante Digital DishKeisha Chante Digital Dish
Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

Keisha Chante Digital Dish

digital-dish-keshia-chante-3

 

 

From the Web

More on Vibe

Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.
KMazur/WireImage

Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.

 

Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/LxZfxcqRgF

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/BHlANZjCGZ

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/vLqLTVxqO9

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/ALDcT0ZQxR

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/zwk0AWMCoE

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/mM2GWEg1pe

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!pic.twitter.com/GfxBeJxUY1

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...

#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/iXNwssD3sY

— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/cGl269tuTr

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

Continue Reading
Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

Continue Reading
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

Describing the opportunity as a “dream come true” since she’s a major supporter of the streaming service, Kelis took to Instagram to share how cannabis and cooking is one of her many creative passions. “As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today’s society,” the mother-of-two writes. “In this country, many things have been used systemically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together.”

Each episode will place three chefs against each other as they craft three-course meals with cannabis as the central ingredient. Each episode’s winner takes home $10,000. Guests will play an integral role in who takes home the cash prize. Too $hort, and El-P are just a few of this season's guests.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

“Food is revolutionary because it is the one and only international language. It’s the most human thing you can partake in,” she said in an interview with Bon Appetit. “We are the only species that cooks.”

This isn’t Kelis’ first foray into the reality-cooking television world. In 2014, she partnered with the Cooking Channel for Saucy and Sweet and published the "My Life on a Plate" cookbook a year later.

Continue Reading

Top Stories